How to subscribe to a site or blog
So you like what you see on a website or blog, but you are also fully aware that your reliably fading grey matter - isn't what it used to be - are you are prone to forgeting the wonderful name of that niche website you stumbled on. Yes you can add it to your bookmarks - and hope to find it among the 200 other websites.
Alternatively, you may have been wondering what that logo was in the corner of the page that keeps popping up. That is the newsfeed logo, which can be in a variety of colours, but is useful for subscribing to favourite websites (like this one), so you can keep updated of new blogs, news or web updates. You just point and click and its in your stream. Now you're a 'Number One Fan' and your Misery of trying to remember over 200 sites, is over.
How do I find the sites to which I SUBSCRIBE?
This is where you will find the drop down menu with the "bookmarks toolbar" in it - follow the tiny triangle/pointer and your all subscription feeds will show up. You will easily find the sites, blogs and newsfeeds that you have subscribed to.
It will also show the icon again.
Don't forget to subscribe to this one.
Share the news!
Online or Offline Learning? Why not have both?
If you want to learn about creating webpages you have a variety of means of achieving this. You can learn offline at college, from text books and magazines or through online training companies to whom you pay a small monthly fee to access the members only library of videos and articles. You can also access support and feedback from your tutors in person (offline) or through online support systems.
A few years ago at university, online learning was a brief session in a Psychology of Decision Making lecture where a researcher discussed whether it could be a learning forum of the future (it was only 2005). I enjoy both learning styles and they rarely disadvantage you these days.
Informal learning in your community
I first began formally learning about webdesign and webhosting in 1999 as part of a community centre website launch geared around the Millenium. They had recieved funding for the website and as a selected member I joined the team to learn about HTML, FTP and content design and research. We spent several weeks learning about HTML and how to design the website. The learning environment was coorperative and we all brought our strengths and skills to the team.
We gathered information, interviewed local charities and organisations and took digital photographs of the community. We wrote our articles and created the content. There was a member of the team who decided that he would take responsiblity for the FTP (File transfer protocol) making it seem extremely complicated and fearsome. He informed us that we may risk destabilising the website if we all did it ourselves, as we had been taught. Instilled with the belief that we shouldn't mess with or mess up the website, everyone backed off. In fact we backed off to such a distance that the project became very fractured and later faultered.
No one can learn or progress under those conditions in any field of pursuit. You will find in IM that there are people who genuinely want to help you, while others are just there to help themselves - to your money. Take the advice I was given at a recent networking event by a respected investor - don't purchase anything for at least 6 months. You will soon sort the men from the greedy, spoilt and bad tempered boys!
Fit Your Own Budget
If your intentions are to learn about internet marketing at your own pace and within your own budget, then I can guarantee that you will be able to find a style of learning to fit your needs and preferences.
I didn't forget what I had learnt in 1999, however HTML is hard work, so I used simple and effective templates for years for my business site, which provided enough information for clients to find and book my services regularly. I incorporated additional sources of income to that site also, but knew nothing of the additional skills of driving traffic and using paid adverts. It still worked though. I was top of the search engines for that local business and clients found me.
Later, I moved on to learn about webpage design again at a local college. You may be able to find a local weekly class in your community college that can fit within your schedule. If you are unemployed, on low pay or on benefits (in the UK) you are likely to find that you are entitled to waived or reduced fees for your course. There is so much free, quality information available on the internet, that you can feel free to ignore those wanting your credit card details for 'advice' for a long time.
Your local library also provide ample resources for learning material on internet marketing. At some point you will need to read, watch videos, join webinars and practice. Create time for this.
Where There's a Will, There's a Way
During the time of my college course, I attended a half day writing course and was introduced to blogging as a means of developing the creative writing habit. You can create a blogging space for free with blogger.com and wordpress. They offer space for airing your views, ideas and sharing your creative or recreational interests.
After completing my college course in 2009, I intended to follow on and again relearn the FTP skills and other software for webdesign. However the exam coincided with my operation, and I was told I couldn't do the course unless I entered the exam too! Following my operation and during recovery, I was informed the course had been removed from the college syllabus, and that's why I began learning online at home while convalescing.
Learning Forums: Conference Calls and Webinars
Live conference calls can be interactive although you may not be able to make a vocal contribution to conference calls, as you can during live lectures.
To get invited onto a conference call/webinar, you will usually have visited a website and submitted your email address. Subsequently you will receive a series of emails and often will get your invitation as a 'link' in the email which allows you to register for the online conference call. Often the calls/webinars may consist of a recorded vocal message, a power point presentation with a voice over, a live presentation with power point slides or a demonstration/video during which you can type questions in the interactive area or if you are given permission can ask your question via a phone or headset connection.
Online Membership sites
Online membership sites are a fabulous method of learning internet marketing. For a monthly fee, you can access a library of PDF's, videos, conference call, MP3's and support to learn everything from content creation, creating a website, template use, search engine optimisation, keyword searches, traffic building strategies and developing various income streams from your website. If you are new to internet marketing, it is one of the best places to invest your money by spending a small monthly fee and then have 24 hour access to all round training.
Getting More Than You Bargained For
I have to say, I immediately stumbled onto two of the best training sources I have used over the last two years, however these days, if I had found the kind of software I now use earlier, I would have been months ahead with a simple website concept, but to my additional benefit I have learnt so much about the many various ways of generating income, supplying products and creating traffic, that in time, the long route around will have been worth the journey.
I only needed a simple website, but these days in the competitive internet market, it is useful to know more than you need, in order to maximise the strategies that you know well.
So, just like many university students who has invested thousands in their education, once you have a good general overview of your topic, you will then find an area of internet marketing that you can feel comfortable using.
Find your BIG WHY...
There will be no doubt that learning internet marketing will be a long and tiring learning curve. So you have to have what any guru will tell you is 'your big why?'
Your reason for persuing your IM has to be there at the forefront of your mind or even the back of your mind every day. Eventually it will become a habit, or like your facebook addiction, a compulsion. It's the cake you keep adding icing in an effort to perfect or improve it.
You may have a 'Big Why' that you haven't fully acknowledged. Perhaps you have children that you want to spend more time with, perhaps, it's a flexible occupation that fits around your children, perhaps you just want to give up you day job, clear your student loan or automate your business results to reduce your stress and organise your lead generation. If you already have a business and website, many individuals want to generate an income from there website, making it pay for itself or put up a stronger fight against the competition. If you are just looking for a new hobby, great! That a valid reason too.
Be prepared for distractions
We all have our own reasons for delving into internet marketing. Some will take to it like a fish to water, while others may feel that they are bouncing around from one method or technique to another, becoming distracted with each new subscription and drained of energy and time. As you yearn to learn more, you will be bombarded with emails and guru's inviting you to webinars to sell you courses.
Time and persistence
It will take time and persistence to distinguish between that which you need to implement, and what is a distraction from your goal.
The Learning Curve above (a model of how we learn and forget over time) identifies that if we repeatedly practice what we have learnt, we will maintain recall and longterm learning. If we don't practice or implement what we have learnt - we quickly forget - effectively, we have wasted our time, energy, money or resources that we have invested in our study.
So the key here to longterm results in internet marketing is to focus on what you are learning and continue practicing it everyday over at least 30 days. If your plan involves blogging or article writing, invest in a daily schedule of practice and study over a period of at least 30 - 90 days.
Use a diary if necessary to write down what you intend to learn, how much time you intend to invest and what you have actually done that day. By monitoring your actions, you hold yourself accountable.
Employ stress management techniques
There will be nothing that you can offer yourself except patience and a break. Get away from it all. Go for a walk, a holiday, take a trip even if it's to the shops for a day. Meditate and refocus your mind. Change from doing memtal work to something more physical. Go out and social with friends, old and new. You will soon find clarity and inspiration and return renewed if your why is still there.
First things first
But first you must put first things first and decide - do you have an interest or idea that you want to pursue and write about that will keep you engaged and vibrantly motivated for months or years to come? Just take a look at your own interests and pick out something you enjoy or think about consistently. It just needs to be something you can focus on and enjoy pursuing. Don't worry about whether it will make money - right now you need a topic to build your learning around.
There you have your first niche. That is where you can begin - by focusing on your niche market.
Tony Buzan: Mindmapping /Learning
Video on Learning Curve and it's financial implications
Where do you start when you want to learn about internet marketing?
Well, it's just like any other course of study or business that you want to learn or establish however - it is both a business and a study course combined. You have to decide where your priorities lie and what resources you have that will enable you to fulfil your goals.
Start with aSWOT Analysis
Analyse your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.
What are your priorites?
Do you want to learn internet marketing for recreation with a long term intention of earning from your efforts, or are you learning in order to add to your skill set for a new job or to progress in your career?
Make best use of your resources
If it is for your already established business, is it going to be a worthy investment of your time to learn these skills or would your time be better valued if you farmed out the worked to someone more competent and quicker at the job? Can you afford to sacrifice your time while you are studying or would you be better off spending your time on your work and strengths while using the extra pay to get another person to design your marketing?
The difficulty with passing your work and hard earned money over to someone else can be that if you haven't seen their work before, or they can not verify their results, it will be difficult to establish if their promises of results are genuine.
However if you are learning internet marketing skills for yourself, these are skills you can carry anywhere for as long as they are valid. As the proverb states, Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. But I should warn you - you will have some very long and frustrating evenings or days ahead of you. It's a steep learning curve and can become an addiction counterproductive to the very reason you entered into Internet Marketing (IM) which may be to buy yourself time, increase your income and enable yourself to escape to freedom from the rate race.
So get yourself a comfortable chair and arm yourself with a stress management mentality, because it's going to be a very bumpy ride!
SWOT Analysis - Wikipedia
My internet marketing journey started more seriously just over two years ago whilst on sick leave.
Several years ago I had set up a simple site for my hypnotherapy business and used affiliate and associate marketing to attempt to gain an income from traffic to my site. However even then it was difficult. Luckily the site brought me customers to my business and a few enquiries from clients.
I found myself engaged in a series of video streamed conferences about internet marketing, which included several 'pitches' from trainers and coaches who were willing to teach short cuts to the steep learning curve for a huge fee. Some are shameless about caling you up and asking a total stranger for thousands.
I sat down and went from one online trainer to another, learning from each while beng pitched and promoted on every product and training course from here to infinity. Everyone having the 'secret' method, system or technique to simplify and streamline your efforts and earnings. Really!
It is quite easy to see how an individual can be drawn into the vortex of internet marketing and quickly lose their time, motivation and wallet. Lately I have had to wade through hundreds of emails a day, watch countless enticing videos soliciting for my email address and find myself searching for the refund button on sites that deliberately make it difficult for you to exercise the refund guarantee that they have offered you.
Well, here begins the blog. If I blog consistently as I am told, I should generate enough visitors to my site to get rated by Google. Will it work? Join me on my journey and see. I shall watch the visitor numbers and if you would be so kind, feel free to click on an ad that takes your interest and purchase a little something to aid and sustain us both on our journey into internet marketing.